Monaco Grand Prix controversy sees Rosberg on pole
A Monaco Grand Prix controversy errupted yesterday and race officials at the Monaco Grand Prix had to review the circumstances which led to Nico Rosberg securing pole position ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The German led by just 0.059 seconds after the opening lap but, on his final lap he went off at the Mirabeau corner. That appeared to clear the way for Hamilton to try and improve on Rosberg’s time but because yellow flags were waved due to Rosberg’s incident, it meant that the British driver could not go out on his final lap.
Rosberg said: “I just locked up. I thought I was going to hit the tyre wall. I knew I had a (banker) lap so I just tried to push that little bit more and went over the edge.” Hamilton appeared less than happy at being deprived of the opportunity of going for pole, saying: “Yeah, it’s ironic.”
Investigators looked into the incident and take evidence from Rosberg’s car to try and determined his actions were not deliberate.
Daniel Ricciardo will start third, beating his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to finish 0.395 seconds behind Rosberg. Fernando Alonso from Ferrari is fifth, just ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso is seventh.
Mercedes have won all five of the Grand Prix’s so far this season, Rosberg winning the first in Australia and Hamilton being successful in the last four.
Following the investigation by stewards Rosberg keeps his pole position ahead of the race.
You can back a Rosberg/Hamilton 1-2 in the Forecast Market at 2.12 and that’s well worth considering too. Both drivers are mighty around the Principality’s two-mile track, and Rosberg won here from pole position last year.
He has perhaps better knowledge of the place than most – the son of 1982 World Champion Keke, Nico grew up in Monaco and parts of the track are on the route he used to take to school.
Hamilton, for his part, appeared vexed by Rosberg’s speed and probably took some convincing that the incident at the end of qualifying wasn’t deliberate.
He needs to channel that disappointment into overcoming the positional disadvantage in the race, but he will probably end up on the alternate strategy that Rosberg has been forced into in previous races, taking the harder tyre at the first stop in order to be on the softs later in the race when Rosberg is on the slower, harder tyres.
The problem with that in Monaco is that traffic will be such a problem later in the race that it will be hard for Hamilton to make up time, let alone pull a pass on a car as quick as his own.
Daniel Ricciardo was the quickest non-Mercedes driver and is a good choice for a podium finish at 1.85. He was best of the rest in Spain Red Bull – although that’s not hard to do when you’ve come from driving a Toro Rosso.
Ricciardo qualified just 0.4s behind the Mercedes duo and two tenths ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the sister Red Bull, with the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen fifth and sixth.
Either one of those cars is likely to finish in the Top Six, but you get a better return on Raikkonen at 1.68.
One also to think about is Jean-Eric Vergne, who starts seventh but is out at 4.0 to finish in the Top Six. The Toro Rosso driver has looked fast and clean all weekend and might just be in a position to capitalise on his best grid position of the season.